Missing persons: No relief from the courts

Cross posted from: FKPolitics.wordpress.com

While Dawn asks us to feel “relief” over the issue, the courts have once again failed miserably at bringing relief. All the big talk by Justice Javed Iqbal appears to be a tempest in a teapot. A decision was promised on end of March but now we we have talk of a “Judicial Commission” being set up by the very Government behind people going missing. And what the Honorable Judge has said of late is not very comforting:

Justice Javed Iqbal said “We will not take any illegitimate action against the lawlessness of the secret agencies but a solid action to recover the missing persons.” Justice Javed Iqbal observed thatbeing supreme, no one can hold the Parliament accountable.

I find these remarks extremely insulting, especially coming from justices who just days ago were saying things like: “The government should be aware of the consequences of missing person cases which is bigger than the NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) for it affects every citizen of the country”; “The law will take its course irrespective of who is who”;   “Even if my son had been picked, I would also be standing outside the court demanding early release of the child”; “This time we have to start from the top by calling ministers and secretaries and the heads of intelligence agencies”;

But when Advocate Hashmat Habib requested the court to summon heads of the Military Intelligence and the Inter-Services Intelligence,  Justice Iqbal also said that last time when “we tried to summon them we were sent home for almost 16 months”.

Well, I certainly am not expecting much but I guess I have to wait till the end of this month

Justice Javed said, “We will go to any extent under constitutional provisions and bring the matter to its logical end. We will not go beyond the month of March.

In the meantime, while the Neros — or should I say ‘Pharaohs’ ala Kurd — fiddle, more people continue to go missing and  getting killed.

P.S. Would you believe “810 institutions were involved in the issue” ?

4 responses to “Missing persons: No relief from the courts”

  1. Where are you our saviours Imran Khan, Shahid Masood, Ansar Abbasi?

    Where are you, Iftikhar Muhamamd Chaudhry, Hamid Khan and Qazi Anwar?

    Where are you, Munawar Hassan, Qazi Hussain Ahmed and Nawaz Sharif?

  2. They are the pawns of Rightist Establishment and the loyal servants of GHQ who were using these issues to their political advantage. Shame on you Imran Khan, Shahid Masood, Ansar Abbasi Iftikhar Muhamamd Chaudhry, Hamid Khan and Qazi Anwar Munawar Hassan, Qazi Hussain Ahmed and Nawaz Sharif.

    Loyal servants of GHQ. You can never give Justice.

  3. Missing person’s case takes dramatic turn Police want Army generals to be probed Thursday, April 08, 2010 By Umar Cheema http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=233211
    ISLAMABAD: A high profile missing person’s case has taken a dramatic turn as the police are examining a sitting corps commander and two recently retired ISI officials whereas a former DG ISI, now a corps commander, is likely to be examined following a guarded disclosure by former attorney general Malik Qayyum. Lt. Gen. Shafqaatullah, Corps Commander Multan, and two retired ISI officials, Brig. Mansoor Saeed and Col. Jehangir Akhtar, have submitted their statements to the Supreme Court through the police as they were allegedly in knowledge of where Masood Janjua had been kept.

    Masood Janjua was picked up along with a friend in July 2005 in Rawalpindi and has been missing since then. Amina, his wife, has waged a movement for the last five years, demanding the release of her husband and others. There are more than 3,500 persons reportedly missing of which 250 cases have been taken up by the Supreme Court.

    The police have told the Supreme Court they need to further probe these officials as their statements do not answer all the questions required for a thorough probe, a fact confirmed by Kamran Aadil, Superintendent Police, who is in-charge of the investigation.

    Kamran Aadil told The News the police would send more questions to the concerned officials through the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Branch of the Pakistan Army. He appreciated the role of JAG Branch, which is fully cooperating with them.

    When asked about the statements he had obtained, Kamran said they had been submitted to the court and he would not comment about them.

    Another corps commander who previously headed the ISI is expected to be next to be examined as he is said to have told Malik Qayyum, the then attorney general, that Masood Janjua had been killed. His examination is required to determine how he knew and who killed Masood Janjua. Lt. Gen. Shafqaat and two ISI officials are being examined on the request of Amina Masood after she told the court that she had approached these officers and they had dropped hints about the whereabouts of her husband. Shafqaat was military secretary to the then President Pervez Musharraf. He is said to have informed Amina that they had learned through their informers that her husband was seen somewhere in Waziristan and was alive. But he had declined to share his source.

    Now as the police have obtained Shafqaat’s statement, he backtracked from what he reportedly told Amina. His statement on a plain paper submitted to the court with his signature on it has been seen by The News. It said that his efforts to locate Janjua, “initiated on the president’s directions, failed to trace the man.”

    Masood’s father, a retired colonel of SSG, was senior to Musharraf and had asked him for help. Since Amina Janjua had also contacted him, Shafqaat wrote in his statement: “I politely informed her that all requested details have already been communicated to her father-in-law and that I had nothing else to add.”

    Amina, talking to The News, contested the contents of Shafqaat’s statement, insisting that he had then said “their informers had seen him (Masood Janjua) alive somewhere in Waziristan.” She also demanded the corps commander be summoned before the court for cross-examination.

    Col. Jahangir of ISI had frequently met Amina, visited her house many times and kept her waiting that “she would soon hear a good news about her husband” but the statement he has submitted to the court said: “It’s incorrect that she used to hold series of meetings with the undersigned and that I would inform her about the whereabouts of her husband.”

    Brigadier Mansoor Saeed, ex-Director ISI, Islamabad, said in his statement: “I have never seen, met or interacted with any person named Mr. Masood Janjua nor have any knowledge of his whereabouts.”

    Mansoor was accused by Dr. Imran Munir that he had seen Janjua kept in an ISI safe-house located in Westridge, Rawalpindi. Imran, who himself remained in the ISI’s custody, had submitted a sworn affidavit before the Supreme Court.

    Malik Qayyum had told Hamid Mir of Geo TV that a powerful head of a powerful organisation had confirmed to him that Janjua had been killed.

    As the police obtained a statement from Hamid Mir, he confirmed being told by Qayyum but said they should better ask him (Qayyum) about the powerful head. As the police approached Qayyum, he did not deny it and said that since it was a privileged secret passed on to him being the AG, he would disclose the name of the ‘powerful head’ only before the court.

  4. Mass graves, missing persons and target killings

    Senators discuss law and order situation in Balochistan, Sindh.

    Irfan Ghauri

    ISLAMABAD: Professor Khursheed Ahmed of the Jamaat-e-Islami made some startling revelations in Wednesday’s Senate session, where the law and order situation of the country topped the agenda.

    Ahmed, who went on to advocate in-house change and mid-term polls, said a mass grave of 302 bodies was unearthed in July this year in the troubled Swat valley, where the Pakistan Army had conducted an operation against militants. He said he wasn’t sure who the deceased were but it was a crime that a civilised society should investigate thoroughly.

    He quoted an intelligence report warning that Karachi was heading towards a civil war. The report was dated May 2010, when the city was witnessing one of the worst spates of target killings. “At least 1,540 people were killed in Karachi, only in violence-related incidents. Forty-eight per cent of them were Pashtun, 33 per cent were Urdu-speaking and 18 per cent were Sindhis,” he said.

    Speaking about Balochistan, he said that in the last three years, intelligence agencies had taken into custody over 1,600 people from Balochistan, including 352 who went missing during the tenure of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government. Senator Semeen Siddiqui of PML-Quaid (PML-Q) criticised the Sindh home ministry and said that land-grabbers were mainly responsible for the deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi.

    PML-Q’s Senator SM Zafar said an ethnic cleansing had started in Balochistan and lamented that no one was voicing support for the settlers. “Daku raaj is prevailing in Sindh, sectarianism has gripped Punjab and the law in a jungle is better than what is being seen in Fata,” he said, adding that the solution to Karachi’s situation lay in deweaponising the city.

    Published in The Express Tribune, November 4th, 2010.